Over the years I have observed many forms of Dom/sub behavior. Although I have never been known as one to try and categorize anything or anybody, in the educational spirit of creating discussion and thought, I wanted to discuss some of my observations. Hopefully this dissertation will help those new to the lifestyle find a place for themselves, an area to identify with or explain various forms of D/s behavior. And for those who are in the lifestyle to just enjoy the discussion.
I think that Dominants can fall into one of three categories , with modifications within them. I want to discuss the major categories, but leave the modifications to your imagination and/or conclusions. There could even be combinations of types.
The types fall into the categories of Authoritarian, Democratic, and Equalitarian. These types have their sub counterparts. I will discuss the main characteristics of these subs and again leave the various modifications thereof up to your imagination. Remember, although I may mention some negative things about some of these categories, these persons and situations must be evaluated by the quality of the people involved and not by the activities themselves. Remember that variation is endless. I do not intend to offend anyone by these generalizations. We all know that there are exceptions to every rule and that “we” are all “exceptions.”
The Authoritarian Dominant is one who “rules” with the absolute power, the total control. Makes all decisions, there is no questioning of what is asked or done. The only recourse the sub may enjoy is perhaps a safe word or , if allowed, few if any limitations. These Dom’s enjoy the strictest master/slave relationships. They attract subs who want to be totally controlled. This is the “slave” submissive. Many of these subs find themselves being considered doormat types by those who do not understand this form of D/s. (However, it may attract door-mat type persons and power freak type individuals). This form may and usually does involve strict total voluntary surrender either mentally/emotionally and/or physically, and usually through heavy S&M activities. This is where pushed limits are very much a part of the activities. Some of the strongest bonds/relationships exist in these situations. Here is where one can also find the strict 24 hours a day 7 days a week (24 / 7) D/s relationships. There are no long drawn out training sessions to effect certain behaviors as in the Democratic Domination. Things are just done, no negotiations; limits are pushed and it is accepted by both. There is a great sense of closeness and coupling in the uncensored relinquishing of power and the wielding of absolute control. They fully understand this concept of D/s and live it strictly and with elegance. Their implements (toys if you will , but in this type I don’t look upon them as toys – you can be sure that they are the “real” thing) are highly crafted, sometimes intricate, wielded proficiently and effectively. The Dominants are highly skilled in their use. And you might say that the submissives are highly skilled at receiving the results. These implements developed by the Authoritarian types are borrowed in kind and concept by other D/s types. It can be a profound and sobering experience for some not yet familiar with this type of domination to witness an Authoritarian scene. You will find this type referred to as real D/s. and it is “real.” This is what “real” is usually referred to. But D/s is not only S&M , it encompasses a wide variety of D/s behaviors and conventions. So real is real for what you are involved in and not what others do. This “is” real BDSM, have no doubt about this. It is, however, only one aspect or area of D/s. I think that here one finds the situation where individuals feel naturally (born) this way and fall into this easily and with great acceptance and comfort in spite of outward appearances.
The Democratic Dominant ( sounds like an oxymoron ) is one who controls by agreement. Contracts, discussions, limitations, conditions, safe words, times of day, places where, are all spelled out or discussed and are strictly followed. Sometimes in written contracts. Punishments are provided for the enjoyment of both when these are not followed; and rewards are given (I think) when they are followed. Submissives who are attracted to these situations are those who want the same agreed conditions, especially the limitations. They can be called feisty, bad, spoiled, hard to tame, because they like to challenge the limits/rules — either because they want it this way (to have control), or have certain fears. This can be the game area, where fun supersedes the Dominant/submissive operative. The Dominant and submissive like the actual and varied activities and enjoy participating in them. The submissive probably does not want to actually surrender, but likes playing as if she is does. These form the least strong relationships and bonds. This area is where the fun seekers usually reside, those who do not fully understand or have not fully experienced what D/s is, and maybe don’t want to. Or, frankly, the inexperienced. The activity or concept of “Topping from the Bottom” is also found here. The rules are a guide to those who like this type of interaction, or a crutch for those who have little or no knowledge of what it is all about on an intellectual, philosophical and physical level. “Cookbook” Domming and submitting. Many like this type of situation since it is a convenient and safe way to play with D/s (fun) or it makes it easy to feel like they are or are indeed practicing D/s. This type also serves a very good purpose as a safe passage to other forms of D/s, or for learning, especially among those who are doing this for the first time with someone new, or for the first time ever. After experience with D/s or experience with that particular person is gained, the “rules of the road” so to speak become more of an intimated reaction between the two, and can lead to some very strong and satisfying D/s relationships. Some of these types or agreements can be of the 24/7 type, usually by agreement, but most involve predetermined parameters. This is the area for those Dominants who like long drawn out training sessions and submissives who are resistant to certain things and need to be broken down or want to be broken down repeatedly. Also, surprisingly, we can find the very S&M orientated individuals here as well as in the Authoritarian (totalitarian) types. The individuals are very much into the giving and receiving pain. The relationship is formed with what you might say is an underlying agreement; that is ” I like and enjoy giving you as much pain as I can give and you can stand.” — “You want and enjoy as much pain as I can give and you can stand.” — “Agreed.” — “So let’s be together.” Another democratic agreement made.
The Equalitarian Dominant is one who controls by teaching, mentoring and leading. This Dominant feels and knows that when they find a comparable submissive that things will happen as a progression of the interaction. Usually just a mention or short learning situation is necessary to obtain a certain interaction. Both the Dominant and the submissive “get it”, need very little, so called “training” and naturally know what the other needs after interaction. This Dominant does not like the situation of constantly repeating and forcing a particular behavior (submission) to occur. It is not the activities but the surrender as the result of the Domination that is the objective and enjoyment. Creativity is an important part of this situation. These are the more intellectual, into the philosophy/psychology mechanism of this lifestyle. They understand the concepts and resultant interactions and can put it into real life. They do not need many “rules” like the Democratic type , nor do they like the heavy S&M activities; preferring submission to occur as a result of an instilled desire in the submissive to surrender. She “wants” to as a result of the Dominant’s knowledge and skill at Dominating. Sensuousness is the rule and pain is given and received as a form of sensuous stimulation. Light pain as opposed to severe. Sensuous torture is a popular activity in this area. Both the Dominant and the submissive must be naturally this way. These are the ones who claim to be born this way, have always been this way. They fully understand the concept of D/s – it comes to them naturally and easily. They attract a submissive who truly and naturally wants to please, and who will observe and sense what the dominant is communicating; and be able to translate that into the right thing to do. The doing or saying without having to be told type. The submissives beg easily and surrender sweetly. They understand the concept of respect and surrender and can make it happen after initial learning with little or no additional instructions. They embrace the surrender gratefully and lovingly. These individuals usually form the most intimate of relationships, the closest. There is not much downside to these relationships, because they not only grasp the concepts, but can make it happen too; and their attraction is based on strong mutual respect. Their strong relationship is not readily apparent to the unobservant, but they are always subtly in the 24-7 mode. The fact that these things come forth naturally and without the need for orders or rules are a great affirmation and source of pride, satisfaction and loving. Just as the strictness and forbearance without the need for orders or rules.